Lawrence Linden, a pioneer in plastic card manufacturing and an expert in smart cards and other emerging technologies, died Oct. 28 of pancreatic cancer. He was 74 years old.

Until he formally retired in 1987, Mr. Linden was president for many years of Malco Plastics, a leading producer of credit and debit cards. He managed its transition to a new owner-Thorn EMI of Britain-and promoted the Malco-EMI Watermark Magnetics system as a way to shore up the security of cards' magnetic stripes.

In 1986, Mr. Linden served as president of the Electronic Funds Transfer Association. For the last decade he ran a consulting business, Larry Linden & Associates, out of his home in Woodbine, Md.

"He had a very practical, pragmatic mind that made him the epitome of what a consultant is supposed to be," said Ben Miller, chairman of the annual Cardtech/Securtech conferences. Mr. Linden was an active contributor to and co-chairman of those events through the one this spring in Orlando.

"Through his work at Cardtech he educated a lot of people in the basics of the business," Mr. Miller said. "He touched thousands of people as an employer, consultant, adviser, partner, mentor, or speaker."

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Poplar Springs, Md.. Mr. Linden, who is survived by his wife, Carol, requested that donations in lieu of flowers be made to the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center in Baltimore or the Hospice of Howard County, Columbia, Md.

Mr. Miller said he would be organizing a tribute at a future conference and invites colleagues with recollections to call him at 301-654-0551.

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